Can’t Catch ‘Em All

Copyright law can be tricky to follow, especially with large fan bases of popular entertainment companies. Nintendo recently had to address copyright infringement with it’s Pokemon franchise. A few fans of the game created their own spinoff game featuring new Pokemon they invented. But they also included already existing Pokemon. Due to its widespread popularity and free distribution, it quickly became an issue not just legally, but socially as well. Nintendo, in these situations, is very unlikely to receive monetary compensation from filing a lawsuit, but it serves to help control the fan made and widely spread games, and Pokemon’s branding. Typically, though, large companies perceive fanart to be a positive, and free, way to promote their product. In this case, it was on too large of a scale, with just too much similarity to be ignored.

To read a bit more about the case, click here. To learn about the evolution of the copyright law, and how Mickey Mouse affected it, click here.

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Stealing Snapchat and Other Tech News

snapchatSnap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat,  announced that their IPO occurred this past Wednesday, March 1st with a positive response.  While Snap Inc. may appear to be taking the world by storm with its filters and geotags, this IPO is important to determine the path of growth the company can take, as it allows for a one time influx of income. A successful IPO means technology improvements, leading to not only a better app, but better products as the company expands. In addition, this is one more way to secure their spot in the market, but one company may be stealing the spotlight, and the stories.

Facebook has recently introduced Instagram Stories, which also feature 24 hour posts, filters, text, and now Boomerang, a feature that shows few frames of a video playing and rewinding on a loop. The international social media giant has also introduced “Status”, a feature similar to Stories, on Whatsapp. Whatsapp is a free messenger service owned by Facebook and widely used by student-aged demographics all over the world, particularly with individuals who have international relations. This new feature shares strong similarities Instagram and Snapchat stories; pictures, videos, and GIFS can be sent, only to disappear after 24 hours. However, like the rest of Whatsapp, the Status feature is also encrypted.

For Snapchat, a strong company with a comparable product means that competition will be fierce on an international level,  while Snapchat is still only starting to penetrate countries outside of the United States. Facebook is reported to have approximately 1.86 billion monthly users, with only a mere 167 million being from the US and Canada, as compared to Snap Inc’s 301 million users monthly, of which 68 million are from North America. Instagram and Whatsapp already have large user bases that actively follow social media influencers- negating the need for another, comparable service.

The rapid pace of growth and innovation at companies like Facebook make investing in Snapchat a potentially high-risk investment. Recent news reports that the stocks available are Class A and are worth $17 a share; these would be available to investors, but those who own Class A stock have limited power in corporate decisions. It is likely that stockholders who are worried will have no direct say in the company, which can make the stock a less appealing purchase for those interested in investing in the self-titled camera company.

The sale of these stocks is crucial, as Snap Inc. needs the revenue for contracts with major companies such as Google and Amazon. Facebook’s recent influx of features on their different platforms emphasize its influence over the social media industry. Yet, Snap Inc. is confident in its ability to perform, especially as it is valued higher than many of the social media giants when they released their IPOs. Currently, Snap Inc.’s stock is soaring at $27.09 a share at the close of Friday. When the stock market closed on Monday, stock was $23.77 a share. 

To follow Snap Inc. and check how their IPO is faring, their ticker symbol is SNAP and is traded on the NYSE. Spread the news and share this article or follow us on our WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter!